Menu

Category : The Portofolio

A Birthday Gift Story (First Useful Painting)

Rewind to The View From My Old Buildinga few years ago…

Okay. So while sipping green tea in my lonely apartment, a friend of mine rang me out of the blue and asked ‘So, what are you bringing to the birthday party?’ Surprised by such forwardness, I answered the only way I could, with a heartfelt, ‘Who the hell is this?’ Tsk, tsk. A few awkward moments later, and having established the person in the other end to be in fact my friend Kristina, who in fact had a birthday party coming up that evening and who in fact I had no gift to give to. I decided to perform gift surgery in a hurry.

‘How long do I have?!” To which she replied that I was expected at her apartment along with everyone else in under three hours. Now, at this point I lived too far from a round trip shopping excursion and the closest places of business where my legal tender was accepted was a McDonald’s and the corner convenience store. Both not high in the gift carrying department hierarchy. I was totally fried.

Kristina had been a good friend, listening to my stories of woes and wine and she was was going through a bad spot after breaking up with her boyfriend and I thought  a nice gift would  cheer her spirits. Sadly, I was pretty broke and had no clue about what to get her.

Suddenly,  I remembered some wise word I probably made up or hear someone else said: ‘If you cannot buy a gift, then MAKE a gift! AHA! Eureka! Problem solved! Then I sat down and sipped on some more green tea in the jubilee of an idea well thought. 5 Minutes went by. Shit. No idea of a gift yet.

Making a gift is hard, you see. If you are talentless, if idea can explode in your face and not only you look cheap but also tactless. Specially when you have no idea where to start. So then, I thought of doing a drawing, yeah, that’s it, some painting! It made sense, it would unique and worldly. Yes! A painting, that sounded like a great idea. I had done some drawings & sketches while a kid, however I had to deal with the stern issue that I sucked. But hey, it’s the intention that matters right? Right.

So I found some water paint, took some white cardboard –yeah, I didn’t even have a canvas at the time– and searched my vicinity for a subject…. Uh… Nothing in living room… The kitchen? God, I needed to clean the kitchen back then. It looked as if a war-zone had walked in, seen the mess and thrown up in there. Geesh, still nothing. Nothing. NOTHING!

‘Mmmm…’ perhaps my idea had not been as idiot proof as expected. Then, I looked out my north exposure window from my 11th floor apartment and there it was: A sun was setting. ‘That’s nice…’ Eureka!  Paint the silly sunset! Damn, how come I didn’t see it before?! Guess you had to wait for it, no? And so I did.

Mashed paint on of that cardboard of mine like a mad man who is expected shortly at a birthday party and even finished on record time too! Just under an hour. On my way, Ridding The Rocket™, I ended fanning the painting, hoping it to dry on the short subway hop. Guess what! It did! She loved that tiny 10x 7 painting so much she place it dead center on her mantel! I was quite proud of it, if I say so myself.

Until a week later when a book the size of a encyclopedia felt on top if it and crushed it. Still, it was a nice story. The end.

Honorable Mention: My Photography 101

Honorable Mention: My Photography 101

 

 

Ever since I was a kid and started burning eggs while learning how to cook, I realized I truly enjoyed doing creative works. As such, and finally, 15+ years later I decided to try my hand at photography. As luck would have it I got a Canon A-series camera a few years ago as a birthday gift. For those who do not know, the Canon A-series are known for having a lot of manual options for the price. They are pretty straight to the point and although you would not  utter their name in the same sentence along DSLRs,  one cannot deny that for a budget camera and if you want to stay away from dumb-proof-yet-boring point and shoots, they about the best option you can have.

I remember I took some nice shots with that camera. Then it got stolen. Sadly during a move, the bag my camera was in *disappeared* from within my moving truck. A call to the moving company proved fruitless.

A few years ago, I managed to save enough to buy a new camera, another Canon, this time an A640. A 10 megapixel camera which again like my previous camera was heavy on the manual options. So I started shooting again. I would have to say some really nice pics came out of that. You can see them here on my Flickr! Which I am very proud off! Specially since my camera just stopped working and I do not think it is financially feasible to send it back to Canon for repairs.

BUT! Before the camera died, I was able to take a few more shots which I did enter in the City of Toronto Photography contest, and was able to earn a Honorary Mention for my work. Although monetarily speaking I get squat, I am truly proud to have been honored and that is proof that at least, photographically speaking, I am not burning eggs anymore.

My Paintings (Part II)

This is one of my first *real* paintings where I actually tried to convey a message. The ‘Sandman’ is a piece where the observer might not be sure at what exactly they are looking at. Whether it is a wineglass or a hourglass, a surreal bowler hat adds to the anthropomorphic work and asks to be open to interpretation. In one, it might be a glass of red wine while if the latter, the contents of the hourglass seem to be spilling onto the ethereal.

All of the paintings are done in watercolor as I find the medium interesting and most importantly, fun. The idea of creating has always been a pleasure of mine and painting is merely another tool, a gateway in which to let some of those ideas that linger inside all of us a path into the real world.

I used to be more into poetry when I was young (read: early 20’s) heck, I ended up writing over 50+ poems! Some of he later, non-romantic ones have found their way in here but for the most part, I have kept it a poem-free zone as I tend to cringe when I read blogs which are 100% poetry. However I am thinking of putting some of the best ones up, you know just for kicks. As I have been feeling pretty creative in the last couple of weeks. Not only through painting but through some more serious matters which will eventually be making their way up here. So until then, feel free to ponder and give your two cents on the painting.

My Paintings (Part I)

A few weeks ago, I attended a star-studded and relatively new European Film Festival held in the glorious…well, actually my ancient-locally-owned independent movie theater about twenty minutes from my house… and on top of that, the screenings were free. So…maybe it was not all that but you really couldn’t go wrong with that.

Anyway, one of the last flicks I saw was a pseudo-historical tale called El Greco (PS:. You can watch the movie for free off from that link) that’s based on the actual life of, El Greco –one of the most influential painters of the western world, and no, I did not make that up. Which reminded me of exactly how bad my paintings are however, since I have never claimed to be in the same league and I love doing them –did I mention that painting can also relieve stress?

So, I decided to keep on going. I find it to be an excellent hobby which is useful as a ‘stream of consciousness’ exercise that preps your mind and focuses it into the right frame for any other creative projects. With that said, this little work over here is called ‘One Tree Hill.’ I know, I know, no pivotal proverbial peek into the human condition. Although I have been told, if you look closely at the blue sky lines above where they meet the red sunset that you can actually make out the shape of fishes on a stream. Personally, I do not see it but hey, the more seriously people take me ‘dashing’ on canvases, the closer I am to one day selling one. *I hope*